Sports Extra

MLB

Big league goes Little League on the balls and strikes

PHOENIX – In a throwback to Little League days, balls and strikes were called from behind the pitcher’s mound for a brief period in Tuesday’s exhibition between the Los Angeles Angels and Milwaukee after an umpire was injured.

Home plate Seth Buckminster was hurt with two outs in the top of first inning. Brewers starter Wily Peralta threw a pitch that hit Albert Pujols, and the ball deflected and struck Buckminster on the left arm near the wrist.

Buckminster left the game along with umpire Anthony Johnson, who changed into home-plate gear. After a brief delay, with only two umpires left on the field, play resumed for four batters with Tim McClelland calling pitches from behind the mound.

Johnson returned to the field in the bottom of the first.

NFL

Cowboys to wrangle Dolphins for the Hall of Fame Game

CANTON, Ohio – The Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins will meet in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 4 to open the NFL’s preseason.

The night game at Fawcett Stadium will follow the induction ceremonies the previous day. Entering the Hall of Fame will be former Cowboys offensive lineman Larry Allen, former Dolphins wide receiver Cris Carter and Bill Parcells, who coached in Dallas and later was Miami’s vice president of football operations.

Also being inducted are tackle Jonathan Ogden, defensive tackles Warren Sapp and Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson.

The Hall of Fame is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Soccer

No stadiums, infrastructure? ‘Don’t be afraid,’ FIFA says

ZURICH – Sepp Blatter said FIFA “totally” trusts Brazil will have stadiums and infrastructure ready for the 2014 World Cup.

The FIFA president told reporters after a World Cup organizing committee meeting: “Don’t be afraid.”

Brazil has delivered just two of six stadiums for the Confederations Cup tournament in June. The iconic Maracana in Rio de Janeiro has an April 27 completion deadline.

Blatter said “it’s all a question of trust and confidence.”

The FIFA president added Brazil “will be ready because it is the World Cup, and no one can afford not to be ready for the World Cup.”

Cycling

Danish Rabobank cyclist Rolf Sorensen admits doping

COPENHAGEN – Former Rabobank cyclist Rolf Sorensen of Denmark has admitted to doping in the 1990s.

A professional from 1986 to 2002, Sorensen says he “apologizes humbly for the long, long period with lies” for using EPO and to some extent, cortisone.

Throughout his career, Sorensen stubbornly denied doping allegations.

The Danish rider’s wins include stages in the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. He also won one-day races including the Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Sorensen was on the Rabobank team from 1996-2000. He is the latest rider from the now disbanded team to admit to doping.

Olympics

Japan’s Olympic committee cuts judo funding over abuse

TOKYO – The Japanese Olympic Committee has cut funding for the All Japan Judo Federation and ordered it to take preventive measures as punishment for coaches’ abusive training of female judokas.

The JOC says on Tuesday it cancelled a $2.6 million annual subsidy for the federation. The JOC directive also included a ban on violent coaching, more transparency in team selections and increased hiring of female coaches.

The issue surfaced after 15 female judokas accused former national coaches of harassment and physical violence during training before the London Olympics.

Tokyo is vying to host the 2020 Games.

Associated Press